Need a FUN and easy library program? Try this! Once a month, I host a program called Lion Cub Storytime. Lion Cubs are children who will one day be going to my school. Most of them are 3 - 4 years old, but I have had some toddlers too. Usually, these kids are younger siblings of students at my school, but sometimes we have kids who just live in the area. Anyone is welcome! At the beginning of the year, I send a blurb to my classroom teachers about the program that they can copy and paste into their classroom newsletter. I post information about the program on the school webpage, library webpage, and in the school newsletter. I also make sure the folks who register new students in the office know about the program (this is especially important around Kindergarten registration time). When planning when to hold your monthly storytime, choose a day where your local pre-school does not have school (Fridays seem to work well for us). For the last few years, my storytime has been at 9am and we often have a good crowd. Select a theme each month and plan your storytime around that theme. I usually follow this format: read a book, do a fingerplay or flannel board activiy; read a book; sing a song; read a book; do a craft; check out a book; have a snack.
I get lots of ideas from Pinterest and from some of my favorite storytime blogs. I also write about each storytime on my blog - feel free to be inspired by one of my storytime plans!
My favorite places online to gather ideas are:
I collect ideas I find on Pinterest on my Lion Cub Storytime board - follow it!
I love our Lion Cub Storytime and I have heard from many parents who love it too. The Lion Cubs who come to our school in Kindergarten are more confident when school starts. They feel familiar with the school and our library and knowing someone in the building helps both the student and the parent when the first days of Kindergarten roll around.
Have fun with this storytime - you don't have to worry about Common Core or other academic standards - you can simply encourage and foster a love of reading, storytime, and libraries. Perfect!
Valerie Byrd Fort, Teacher Librarian
New Providence Elementary School
Lexington, South Carolina